Kumbh Mela 2010

From New York Times:

HARIDWAR, India -- Over the bridge they came, Hindu holy men by the tens of thousands, the most devout naked and dusted with sacramental powder, marching toward the bathing pool in the Ganges where the water is considered holiest on this most propitious of days.

Hindu devotees lined the river Ganges during the Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar on Wednesday.

Shouting and singing, waving tridents or spears, the naked mystics, or naga sadhus, were granted the first plunge.

Then came the gurus and swamis, wrapped in saffron robes, a few shaded by beaded parasols. One swami was delivered into the water on the shoulders of his disciples. For 20 minutes, they frolicked, as other pilgrims watched from nearby rooftops.

And then time was up. The police tweeted their whistles and began nudging the group out of the sacred water. There were still untold thousands of holy men waiting to take a dip.

Wednesday was the culmination of the Hindu religious festival known as the Kumbh Mela, a staggering outpouring of humanity that also represents a staggering logistical challenge.

Since January, tens of millions of pilgrims have arrived in this city by train, plane, bus or foot for the privilege of bathing in the Ganges on certain auspicious dates. On Wednesday alone, 10 million people were estimated to have entered the water. The crowds are so massive that safety is a serious concern.

The GCP event was set with the same parameters as the Kumbh Mela in 2003, for the period 00:00 to 13:00 UTC, which covers the daylight hours in Haridwar. The result is Chisquare 47283.8 on 46800 df, for p = 0.057 and Z = 1.578.

It should be noted that another "global event" occured also on this day, namely a big earthquake in Western China. See the next entry in this table. We can only speculate whether the two global events, the huge religious gathering of millions in Haridwar, India and the China quake had a cumulative effect. Moreover, in addition to these focused events, this time is associated with yet another potentially effective global event, namely, the Iceland volcano eruption which resulted in several days of worldwide attention to the disruptive shutdown of air travel in the UK and parts of Europe. For a look at this, we show an exploration of the Icelandic Volcano Dust Cloud effect.

Kumbh Mela 2010

It is important to keep in mind that we have only a tiny statistical effect, so that it is always hard to distinguish signal from noise. This means that every "success" might be largely driven by chance, and every "null" might include a real signal overwhelmed by noise. In the long run, a real effect can be identified only by patiently accumulating replications of similar analyses.

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